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Portrait of Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham

Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham (1474-1559)

CUTHBERT TUNSTALL or TONSTALL, Master of the Rolls, and bishop successively of London and Durham, born in 1474, was the eldest and illegitimate son of Thomas Tunstall of Thurland Castle, Lancashire. The family had long been settled at Thurland Castle, which Cuthbert's grandfather, Sir Richard Tunstall, had lost by attainder in 1460 in consequence of his Lancastrian sympathies.1 Cuthbert's mother is said to have been a member of the Conyers family.2 He was born at Hackforth in the North Riding of Yorkshire, a parish in which the Tunstalls held land of Sir John Conyers.3 His eldest surviving legitimate brother, Brian Tunstall, a noted soldier, inherited Thurland Castle, and was killed at Flodden Field on 9 Sept. 1513. He made Cuthbert supervisor of his will and guardian of his son Marmaduke, an arrangement which was confirmed by Henry VIII on 1 Aug. 1514.4

Cuthbert was said by George Holland in 1563 to have been 'in his youth near two years brought up in my great-grandfather Sir Thomas Holland's kitchen unknown, till being known he was sent home to Sir Richard Tunstall his father [sic], and so kept at school, as he himself declared in manner the same to me.'5 About 1491 he entered Oxford University, matriculating, it is said, from Balliol College. An outbreak of the plague compelled him to leave, and he removed to King's Hall (afterwards merged in Trinity College), Cambridge. Subsequently he graduated LL.D. at Padua. He acquired, besides the ordinary scholastic and theological accomplishments, familiarity with Greek, Hebrew, mathematics, and civil law. Erasmus mentioned him as one of the men who did credit to Henry's court, and he enjoyed the friendship of Warham, More, and other leaders of the renascence in England, as well as of foreign scholars like Beatus Rhenanus and Budaeus.6

After his return to England, Tunstall was on 26 Dec. 1506 presented to the rectory of Barmston in Yorkshire, but he was not ordained subdeacon until 24 March 1509. He resigned Barmston before 26 March 1507, and in 1508 was collated to the rectory of Stanhope in the county of Durham. He also held the living of Aldridge in Staffordshire, which he resigned in 1509, being in that year collated to the rectory of Steeple Langford, Wiltshire.7 On 26 Aug. 1511 Archbishop Warham appointed Tunstall his chancellor, and on 16 Dec. following gave him the rectory of Harrow-on-the-Hill. Warham also introduced him at court, and from this time his rise was rapid. On 15 April 1514 he received the prebend of Stow Longa, Lincoln Cathedral, in succession to Wolsey, and on 17 Nov. 1515 was admitted archdeacon of Chester.

On 7 May he had been appointed ambassador at Brussels to Charles, prince of Castile [later Charles V], to negotiate a continuance of the treaties made between Henry VIII and Philip, late king of Castile.8 He was also instructed to prevent Charles from forming a treaty with France, and these diplomatic tasks detained him most of the following year in the Netherlands.9 During his residence at Brussels he lodged with Erasmus; but his mission was unsuccessful, and, according to his colleague, Sir Thomas More, not much to his taste.10

On 12 May 1516 he was made master of the rolls. On 15 Oct. 1518 he was present at Greenwich at the betrothal of the king's daughter Mary to the dauphin of France, and delivered an oration in praise of matrimony, which was printed by Pynson in the same year as 'C. Tonstalli in Laudem Matrimonii Oratio,' London, 4to; a second edition was printed at Basle in 1519. In the latter year Tunstall became prebendary of Botevant in York Cathedral, and was again sent as ambassador to Charles V's court at Cologne. He returned to England in August 1520, but left again in September, and was at Worms during the winter of 1520-1. In his letters he gave an account of the spread of Lutheranism in Germany, and he earnestly urged Erasmus to write against that heresy.11 He returned to England in April, and in May was appointed dean of Salisbury, receiving about the same time the prebends of Combe and Hornham in that cathedral. In 1522 he was papally provided to the bishopric of London, the temporalities being restored on 5 July. On 25 May 1523 he was appointed keeper of the privy seal, and he delivered the king's speech at the opening of parliament in that year.

In April 1525 Tunstall was once more appointed ambassador, with Sir Richard Wingfield, to Charles V.12 He left Cowes on 18 April, and reached Toledo on 24 May. Francis I had been captured at Pavia, and Tunstall was entrusted with a proposal for the dismemberment of France and the exclusion of Francis I and his son from the French throne. It is, however, doubtful whether Wolsey was in earnest, and Charles V was not in the least likely to fall in with these schemes. He was equally reluctant to carry out his engagement to marry the Princess Mary, and as a result Wolsey accepted the French offers of peace. Tunstall returned to England through France in January 1526. Later in the year he was engaged in a visitation of his diocese, and his prohibition of Simon Fish's 'Supplication for the Beggars,' Tyndale's 'New Testament,' and other heretical books, is printed in 'Four Supplications'.13 In 1527 he accompanied Wolsey on his embassy to France, and in the following years was one of the plenipotiaries who negotiated the famous treaty of Cambray.14

In the divorce question, which now became acute, Tunstall was said to have been one of those who would have been entirely on the emperor's side had it not been for Wolsey's influence, and Catherine chose him as one of her counsel; but he used his influence to dissuade her from appealing to Rome. On 21 Feb. 1529-30 he was papally provided to the bishopric of Durham in succession to Wolsey, who had held the see in commendam with the archbishopric of York. Temporary custody of the temporalities was granted him on 4 Feb., and plenary restitution was made on 26 March; he was succeeded in the bishopric of London by his friend and ally, John Stokesley. Throughout the ensuing ecclesiastical revolution Tunstall's attitude was one of 'invincible moderation.' He retained till his death unshaken belief in catholic dogma, and he opposed with varying resolution all measures calculated to destroy it; but at the same time he seems to have believed in 'passive obedience' to the civil power, and even under Edward VI carried out ecclesiastical changes when sanctioned by parliament which he opposed before their enactment.

Thus he protested against Henry VIII's assumption of the title of 'supreme head' even with the saving clause about the rights of the church, 15 but he subsequently adopted it without reservation, remonstrated with Cardinal Pole on his attitude towards the royal supremacy, preached against the pope's authority in his diocese, and was selected to preach an Quinquagesima Sunday 1536 before four Carthusian monks condemned to death for refusing the oath of supremacy.16 He maintained it also in a sermon preached before the king on Palm Sunday 1539, which was published by Berthelet in the same year (London, 8vo), and reissued in 1533 (London, 4to).

Tunstall's acquiescence in this and the other measures which completed the severance between the English church and Rome was of material service to Henry VIII, for, after the death of Warham and Fisher, Tunstall was beyond doubt the most widely respected of English bishops. Pole wrote in 1536 to Giberti that Tunstall was then considered the greatest of English scholars.17 His influence was, however, occasionally feared by Henry, and previous to the parliament of 1536 which sanctioned the dissolution of the lesser monasteries, Tunstall was prevented from attending it, first by a letter from Henry excusing him from being present on account of his age, and secondly, when Tunstall was already near London, by a peremptory order from Cromwell to return.18

In 1537 Tunstall was provided with a fresh field of activity by being appointed president of the newly created council of the north,19 and his voluminous correspondence in this capacity is now in the British Museum (Addit. MSS. 32647-32648). He was frequently appointed on commissions to treat with the Scots, and acted generally as experienced adviser to the successive lieutenant-generals appointed by Henry to defend the borders or invade Scotland. He continued, however, to take an active part in religious matters, and in 1537 he, as one of the commissioners appointed to draw up the 'Institution of a Christian Man,' endeavoured to make it as catholic in tone as possible. In 1538 he examined John Lambert (d. 1538) on the corporeal presence in the eucharist, and in the following year he submitted to Henry arguments in favour of auricular confession as of divine origin.20

He attended the parliament of that year, which passed the act of six articles, asserting among other dogmas that, auricular confession was 'agreeable to the word of God,' and in 1541 was published the 'great bible' in English, which was 'overseene and perused' by Tunstall and Nicholas Heath. For the next few years Tunstall was chiefly occupied on the borders; in 1544 he was stationed at Newcastle during Hertford's invasion of Scotland. In November 1546 he was commissioned to negotiate peace with France,21 and in the following June was again sent to France to receive the ratification of the treaty of Ardres.22 He returned in August, and attended the parliament that was sitting when Henry VIII died on 28 Jan. 1546-7.

During Edward VI's reign Tunstall's position became increasingly difficult, but his friendly relations with Somerset and Cranmer, combined with his own moderation, saved him at first from the consequences of his antipathy to their religious policy. He had been appointed by Henry VIII one of the executors to his will, concurred in the elevation of Somerset to the protectorate, and officiated at Edward VI's coronation (20 Feb. 1546-7). He took, however, no part in the deprivation of Lord-chancellor Wriothesley, the leading catholic in the council, and, though he was included in the privy council as reconstituted in March, he does not seem to have abetted the measures by which Somerset rendered himself independent of its authority. He attended various meetings of the council until illness incapacitated him, and on 12 April he was directed, owing to news of the aggressive designs of the new French king, Henry II, to proceed to the borders and take up his duties as president of the council of the north.23 During the summer he was busily engaged in putting the borders in a state of defence and in making preparations for Somerset's invasion. On 8 July, as a last effort for peace, he was commissioned to meet the Scots' envoys at Berwick; but they failed to appear, and the Scots' attack on Langholm caused the council to revoke Tunstall's commission.24

Tunstall's compliance with the ecclesiastical proceedings of the council provoked a complaint from Gardiner in the spring of 1547, but in the parliament which met in November he voted against both the bills for the abolition of chantries.25 He seems, however, to have acquiesced in a bill 'for the administration of the sacrament.' He was not included in the famous Windsor commission appointed in the following year to amend the offices of the church, and in the parliament of November he took a prominent part on the catholic side in the debates on the sacrament and on the ritual recommendations of the commission.26 He voted against the act of uniformity and the act enabling priests to marry.27 Nevertheless, after the act of uniformity had been passed, Tunstall enforced its provisions in his diocese. He took no part in the overthrow of Somerset in October 1549, but attended parliament in the following November, and sat on a committee of the House of Lords appointed to devise a measure for the restoration of episcopal authority. He also attended the privy council from December to February 1549-50, and on 5 March was directed to repair to Berwick in view of a threatened Scottish invasion.28

But the hope that the catholics who had aided Warwick in the deposition of Somerset would be able to reverse his religious policy proved vain, and Tunstall, like the other catholics, soon found himself in a difficult position. In September 1550 be was accused by Ninian Menvile, a Scot, of encouraging a rebellion in the north and a Scottish invasion. The precise nature of the accusation never transpired, and it is probable that the real causes of the proceedings against him were his friendship for Somerset, sympathy with his endeavours to check Warwick's persecution of the catholics, and Warwick's plans for dissolving the bishopric of Durham and erecting on its ruins an impregnable position for himself on the borders. On 15 May 1551 he was summoned to London,29 and on the 20th was confined to his house 'by Coldharbor in Thames Streete.'30 During his enforced leisure he composed his 'De Veritate Corporis et Sanguinis Domini nostri Jesu Christ in Eucharistia,'perhaps the best contemporary statement of the catholic doctrine of the eucharist. It was completed in 1551, the author being then, as he states, in his seventy-seventh year. Canon Dixon asserts that it was published in the same year, but the fact is extremely improbable, and no copy of such an edition has heen traced. The first known edition was issued at Paris in 1554; a second edition appeared at Paris in the same year.

On 6 Oct. 1551 Cecil and Sir John Mason were directed to examine Tunstall, probably with the object of obtaining evidence against Somerset, whose arrest had already been arranged. Nothing resulted from the inquiry, but some weeks later a letter from Tunstall to Ninian Menvile, containing, it is said, the requisite evidence of his treason, was found in a casket belonging to Somerset. On 20 Dec. he was consequently removed to the Tower, and Northumberland determined to proceed against him in the approaching session of parliament. On 28 March 1552 a bill for his deprivation was introduced into the House of Lords; it passed its third reading, and was sent down to the commons on the 3lst. There, being described as 'a bill against the bishop of Durham for misprision of treason,' it was read a first time on 4 April. But, in spite of Northumberland's elaborate efforts to pack it, the House of Commons showed many signs of independence, and before proceeding further demanded the attendance of the bishop 'and his accessories.' This was apparently refused, and the bill fell through. Tunstall, was, however, detained in the Tower, and subsequently in the king's bench prison, and on 21 Sept. 1552 the chief justice and other laymen were commissioned to try him. He was tried at the Whitefriars on Tower Hill on 4 and 5 Oct., and deprived on the 14th of his bishopric, which was dissolved by act of parliament in March 1552-3.

Queen Mary's accession was followed on 6 Aug. 1553 by Tunstall's release from the king's bench; an act of parliament was passed in April 1554 re-establishing the bishopric of Durham, and declaring that its suppression had been brought about by 'the sinister labour, great malice, and corrupt means of certain ambitious persons being then in authority.' Tunstall was restored to it, and was himself placed on commissions for depriving Holgate, Ferrar, Taylor, Hooper, Harley, and other bishops. He also sought to convert various prisoners in the Tower condemned to death for heresy, but he refused the request of Cranmer, who had studied Tunstall's book, 'De Veritate Corporis,' in prison, to confer with him, saying that Cranmer was more likely to shake him than be convinced by him. He took part in the reception of Cardinal Pole on 24 Nov. 1554, but he refrained as far as possible from persecuting the protestants, and condemned none of them to death.

Immediately after her accession Elizabeth wrote to Tunstall on 19 Dec. 1558, dispensing with his services in parliament and at her coronation. He refused to take the oath of supremacy, and was summoned to London, where he arrived on 20 July 1559, lodging 'with one Dolman, a tallow chandler in Southwark.'31 On 19 Aug. he wrote to Cecil, saying he could not consent to the visitation of his diocese if it extended to pulling down altars, defacing churches, and taking away crucifixes; but on 9 Sept. he was ordered to consecrate Matthew Parker as archbishop of Canterbury. Ho refused, and on the 28th he was deprived, in order, says Machyn, that 'he should not reseyff the rentes for that quarter.'32 He was committed to the custody of Parker, who treated him with every consideration at Lambeth Palace. He died there on 18 Nov., and was buried in the palace chapel on the following day. A memorial inscription, composed by Walter Haddon, is printed in Stow's' Survey' (ed. Strype, App. i. 85) and in Ducarel's ' Lambeth' (App., p. 40). A portrait of Tunstall was lent in 1868 by Mr. J. Darcy Hutton to the National Art Exhibition at Leeds.33 An engraving by Fourdrinier is given in Fiddes's 'Life of Wolsey.'

Tunstall's long career of eighty-five years, for thirty-seven of which he was a bishop, is one of the most consistent and honourable in the sixteenth century. The extent of the religious revolution under Edward VI caused him to reverse his views on the royal supremacy, and he refused to change them again under Elizabeth. His dislike of persecution is illustrated by his conduct in 1527, when he put himself to considerable expense to buy up and burn all available copies of Tyndale's Testament, in order to avoid the necessity of burning heretics. In Mary's reign he dismissed a protestant preacher with the words, 'Hitherto we have had a good report among our neighbours; I pray you bring not this poor man's blood upon my head.'

Besides the works already mentioned, Tunstall wrote: 1. 'De Arte Supputandi libri quattuor,' London, R. Pynson, 1522, 4to; other editions, Paris, 1529, 4to; Paris, 1538, 4to; and Strasburg, 1551, 8vo. 2. 'Contra Blasphematores Dei praedestinationis opus,' Antwerp, 1555, 8vo. 3. 'Certaine Godly and Devout Prayers made in Latin by. . . Cuthbert Tunstall,' London, 1558, 12mo. He also wrote a preface to Saint Ambrose's 'Expositio super Apocalypsim,' London, 1554, 4to.



1. Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward IV, i. 333, 422 sqq.
2. Leland, Itinerary, iv. 17; Surtees, Durham, vol. i. p. lxvi; Whitaker, Richmondshire, ii. 271-4,
where the inconsistencies of various Tunstall pedigrees are discussed; Wills of the Archdeaconry of Richmond, Surtees Soc. p. 288.
3. Calendar of Inquisitions post mortem, Henry VII, i. No. 675.
4. Brian's will printed in Whitaker, Richmondshire, ii. 273; cf. Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, vol. i. No. 6288.
5. Blomefield, Norfolk, i. 232.
6. See Erasmus, Epistolae, 1642, pt. i. cols. 27, 120, 148, 172, 173, 400, 582, 783, 1158, 1509.
7. Letters and Papers, Henry VIII, i. 1007, p. 150. [link]
8. ib. ii. 422. [link]
9. ib. vol. ii. passim; Brewer, History, i. 65 et sqq.
10. More to Erasmus, Epistolae, ii. 16.
11. ib. i. col. 759.
12. Stowe MS. 147, ff. 67, 86.
13. 'Four Supplications', Early English Text Soc. pp. x-xi. [link]
14. Letters and Papers, vol. iv. pt. iii. passim.
15. Wilkins, Concilia, vol. iii.; cf. Stowe MS. 141, f.36.
16. Wriothesley, A Chronicle of England, i. 34. [link]
17. Cal. State Papers, Venetian, 1534-54, No. 116.
18. Gasquet, Henry VIII and the English Monasteries, i. 151, 294.
19. State Papers, i. 554.
20. The manuscript, with criticisms on the margin in Henry's own hand, is extant in
Cottonian MS. Cleopatra E, v. 125.
21. State Papers, x. 588.
22. ib.; Correspondance Politique de Odet de Selve, pp. 3-6. [link]
23. Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Dasent, ii. 475. [link]
24. ib. ii. 515; Selve, pp. 160, 163.
25. Lords' Journals, 15 and 23 Dec. 1547.
26. Royal MS. 17 B. xxix; Gasquet and Bishop, Edward VI and the Book of Common Prayer. [link
27. Lords' Journals, 15 Jan. and 19 Feb. 1548-9.
28. Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Dasent, ii. 406. [link]
29. Calendar of State Papers, Dom. 1547-80, p. 33.
30. Acts P.C. iii. 277; Wriothesley, ii. 65. [link]
31. The Diary of Henry Machyn, 1843, p. 204. [link]
32. ib., p. 214. [link]
33. Thornbury, Yorkshire Worthies, 1868, p. 4.




      Excerpted from:

      Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. XIX. Sidney Lee, ed.
      New York: The Macmillan Company, 1909. 1237-41.




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Index of Encyclopedia Entries:

Medieval Cosmology
Prices of Items in Medieval England

Edward II
Piers Gaveston
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
Roger Mortimer, Earl of March

Hundred Years' War (1337-1453)

Edward III
The Battle of Crécy, 1346
Edward, Black Prince of Wales
Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster
Edmund of Langley, Duke of York
Thomas of Woodstock, Gloucester
Richard of York, E. of Cambridge
Richard Fitzalan, 3. Earl of Arundel
Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March
The Good Parliament, 1376
Richard II
Lords Appellant, 1388
Richard Fitzalan, 4. Earl of Arundel
Archbishop Thomas Arundel
Thomas de Beauchamp, E. Warwick
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Ralph Neville, E. of Westmorland
Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk
Edmund Mortimer, 3. Earl of March
Roger Mortimer, 4. Earl of March
John Holland, Duke of Exeter
Michael de la Pole, E. Suffolk
Hugh de Stafford, 2. E. Stafford
Henry IV
Edward, Duke of York
Edmund Mortimer, 5. Earl of March
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland
Sir Henry Percy, "Harry Hotspur"
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester
Owen Glendower
The Battle of Shrewsbury, 1403
Archbishop Richard Scrope
Thomas Mowbray, 3. E. Nottingham
John Mowbray, 2. Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Fitzalan, 5. Earl of Arundel
Henry V
Thomas, Duke of Clarence
John, Duke of Bedford
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester
John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury
Richard, Earl of Cambridge
Henry, Baron Scrope of Masham
William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Montacute, E. Salisbury
Richard Beauchamp, E. of Warwick
Henry Beauchamp, Duke of Warwick
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter
Cardinal Henry Beaufort
John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset
Sir John Fastolf
John Holland, 2. Duke of Exeter
Archbishop John Stafford
Archbishop John Kemp
Catherine of Valois
Owen Tudor
John Fitzalan, 7. Earl of Arundel
John, Lord Tiptoft

Charles VII, King of France
Joan of Arc
Louis XI, King of France
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
The Battle of Castillon, 1453



The Wars of the Roses 1455-1485
Causes of the Wars of the Roses
The House of Lancaster
The House of York
The House of Beaufort
The House of Neville

The First Battle of St. Albans, 1455
The Battle of Blore Heath, 1459
The Rout of Ludford, 1459
The Battle of Northampton, 1460
The Battle of Wakefield, 1460
The Battle of Mortimer's Cross, 1461
The 2nd Battle of St. Albans, 1461
The Battle of Towton, 1461
The Battle of Hedgeley Moor, 1464
The Battle of Hexham, 1464
The Battle of Edgecote, 1469
The Battle of Losecoat Field, 1470
The Battle of Barnet, 1471
The Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471
The Treaty of Pecquigny, 1475
The Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485
The Battle of Stoke Field, 1487

Henry VI
Margaret of Anjou
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville
Richard Woodville, 1. Earl Rivers
Anthony Woodville, 2. Earl Rivers
Jane Shore
Edward V
Richard III
George, Duke of Clarence

Ralph Neville, 2. Earl of Westmorland
Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury
Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick
Edward Neville, Baron Bergavenny
William Neville, Lord Fauconberg
Robert Neville, Bishop of Salisbury
John Neville, Marquis of Montagu
George Neville, Archbishop of York
John Beaufort, 1. Duke Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 2. Duke Somerset
Henry Beaufort, 3. Duke of Somerset
Edmund Beaufort, 4. Duke Somerset
Margaret Beaufort
Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
Humphrey Stafford, D. Buckingham
Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
Humphrey Stafford, E. of Devon
Thomas, Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby
Sir William Stanley
Archbishop Thomas Bourchier
Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex
John Mowbray, 3. Duke of Norfolk
John Mowbray, 4. Duke of Norfolk
John Howard, Duke of Norfolk
Henry Percy, 2. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 3. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4. E. Northumberland
William, Lord Hastings
Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter
William Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
Thomas de Clifford, 8. Baron Clifford
John de Clifford, 9. Baron Clifford
John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester
Thomas Grey, 1. Marquis Dorset
Sir Andrew Trollop
Archbishop John Morton
Edward Plantagenet, E. of Warwick
John Talbot, 2. E. Shrewsbury
John Talbot, 3. E. Shrewsbury
John de la Pole, 2. Duke of Suffolk
John de la Pole, E. of Lincoln
Edmund de la Pole, E. of Suffolk
Richard de la Pole
John Sutton, Baron Dudley
James Butler, 5. Earl of Ormonde
Sir James Tyrell
Edmund Grey, first Earl of Kent
George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent
John, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton
James Touchet, 7th Baron Audley
Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy
Robert Hungerford, Lord Moleyns
Thomas, Lord Scales
John, Lord Lovel and Holand
Francis Lovell, Viscount Lovell
Sir Richard Ratcliffe
William Catesby
Ralph, 4th Lord Cromwell
Jack Cade's Rebellion, 1450


Tudor Period

King Henry VII
Queen Elizabeth of York
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Lambert Simnel
Perkin Warbeck
The Battle of Blackheath, 1497

King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Queen Isabella of Castile
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

King Henry VIII
Queen Catherine of Aragon
Queen Anne Boleyn
Queen Jane Seymour
Queen Anne of Cleves
Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Katherine Parr

King Edward VI
Queen Mary I
Queen Elizabeth I
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
James IV, King of Scotland
The Battle of Flodden Field, 1513
James V, King of Scotland
Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland

Mary Tudor, Queen of France
Louis XII, King of France
Francis I, King of France
The Battle of the Spurs, 1513
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Eustace Chapuys, Imperial Ambassador
The Siege of Boulogne, 1544

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex
Thomas, Lord Audley
Thomas Wriothesley, E. Southampton
Sir Richard Rich

Edward Stafford, D. of Buckingham
Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
John Russell, Earl of Bedford
Thomas Grey, 2. Marquis of Dorset
Henry Grey, D. of Suffolk
Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester
George Talbot, 4. E. Shrewsbury
Francis Talbot, 5. E. Shrewsbury
Henry Algernon Percy,
     5th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Algernon Percy,
     6th Earl of Northumberland
Ralph Neville, 4. E. Westmorland
Henry Neville, 5. E. Westmorland
William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester
Sir Francis Bryan
Sir Nicholas Carew
John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford
John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford
Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral
Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset
Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Henry Pole, Lord Montague
Sir Geoffrey Pole
Thomas Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Manners, Earl of Rutland
Henry Bourchier, 2. Earl of Essex
Robert Radcliffe, 1. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 2. Earl of Sussex
George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon
Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter
George Neville, Baron Bergavenny
Sir Edward Neville
William, Lord Paget
William Sandys, Baron Sandys
William Fitzwilliam, E. Southampton
Sir Anthony Browne
Sir Thomas Wriothesley
Sir William Kingston
George Brooke, Lord Cobham
Sir Richard Southwell
Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre
Sir Francis Weston
Henry Norris
Lady Jane Grey
Sir Thomas Arundel
Sir Richard Sackville
Sir William Petre
Sir John Cheke
Walter Haddon, L.L.D
Sir Peter Carew
Sir John Mason
Nicholas Wotton
John Taylor
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the Younger

Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London
Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester
John Aylmer, Bishop of London
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Archbishop William Warham
Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham
Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester
Edward Fox, Bishop of Hereford

Pope Julius II
Pope Leo X
Pope Clement VII
Pope Paul III
Pope Pius V

Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Martin Bucer
Richard Pace
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Tallis
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
Hans Holbein, the Younger
The Sweating Sickness

Dissolution of the Monasteries
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
Robert Aske
Anne Askew
Lord Thomas Darcy
Sir Robert Constable

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555
The Act of Supremacy, 1559
Articles Touching Preachers, 1583

Queen Elizabeth I
William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir Nicholas Bacon
Sir Thomas Bromley

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick
Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon
Sir Thomas Egerton, Viscount Brackley
Sir Francis Knollys
Katherine "Kat" Ashley
Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
George Talbot, 6. E. of Shrewsbury
Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
Gilbert Talbot, 7. E. of Shrewsbury
Sir Henry Sidney
Sir Robert Sidney
Archbishop Matthew Parker
Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Penelope Devereux, Lady Rich
Sir Christopher Hatton
Edward Courtenay, E. Devonshire
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Thomas Radcliffe, 3. Earl of Sussex
Henry Radcliffe, 4. Earl of Sussex
Robert Radcliffe, 5. Earl of Sussex
William Parr, Marquis of Northampton
Henry Wriothesley, 2. Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3. Southampton
Charles Neville, 6. E. Westmorland
Thomas Percy, 7. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 8. E. Northumberland
Henry Percy, 9. E. Nothumberland
William Herbert, 1. Earl of Pembroke
Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Henry Howard, 1. Earl of Northampton
Thomas Howard, 1. Earl of Suffolk
Henry Hastings, 3. E. of Huntingdon
Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
Roger Manners, 5th Earl of Rutland
Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland
Henry FitzAlan, 12. Earl of Arundel
Thomas, Earl Arundell of Wardour
Edward Somerset, E. of Worcester
William Davison
Sir Walter Mildmay
Sir Ralph Sadler
Sir Amyas Paulet
Gilbert Gifford
Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague
François, Duke of Alençon & Anjou

Mary, Queen of Scots
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell
Anthony Babington and the Babington Plot
John Knox

Philip II of Spain
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Sir Francis Drake
Sir John Hawkins

William Camden
Archbishop Whitgift
Martin Marprelate Controversy
John Penry (Martin Marprelate)
Richard Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury
John Dee, Alchemist

Philip Henslowe
Edward Alleyn
The Blackfriars Theatre
The Fortune Theatre
The Rose Theatre
The Swan Theatre
Children's Companies
The Admiral's Men
The Lord Chamberlain's Men
Citizen Comedy
The Isle of Dogs, 1597

Common Law
Court of Common Pleas
Court of King's Bench
Court of Star Chamber
Council of the North
Fleet Prison
Assize
Attainder
First Fruits & Tenths
Livery and Maintenance
Oyer and terminer
Praemunire


The Stuarts

King James I of England
Anne of Denmark
Henry, Prince of Wales
The Gunpowder Plot, 1605
George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham
Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset
Arabella Stuart, Lady Lennox

William Alabaster
Bishop Hall
Bishop Thomas Morton
Archbishop William Laud
John Selden
Lucy Harington, Countess of Bedford
Henry Lawes

King Charles I
Queen Henrietta Maria

Long Parliament
Rump Parliament
Kentish Petition, 1642

Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
John Digby, Earl of Bristol
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol
Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax
Robert Devereux, 3rd E. of Essex
Robert Sidney, 2. E. of Leicester
Algernon Percy, E. of Northumberland
Henry Montagu, Earl of Manchester
Edward Montagu, 2. Earl of Manchester

The Restoration

King Charles II
King James II
Test Acts

Greenwich Palace
Hatfield House
Richmond Palace
Windsor Palace
Woodstock Manor

The Cinque Ports
Mermaid Tavern
Malmsey Wine
Great Fire of London, 1666
Merchant Taylors' School
Westminster School
The Sanctuary at Westminster
"Sanctuary"


Images:

Chart of the English Succession from William I through Henry VII

Medieval English Drama

London c1480, MS Royal 16
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR
c. 1690. View of London Churches, after the Great Fire
The Yard of the Tabard Inn from Thornbury, Old and New London




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